Truck Product Conference 2019

Ram Commercial details new features, touts upfitter resources

Dec. 9, 2019
NTEA Truck Product Conference 2019 coverage

Ram Commercial delivered product planning, and truck and van technical updates during the 2019 Truck Product Conference.

Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 models boast 35 all-new features and 21 class-exclusive features, according to Ram. The line includes six trims, four configurations, three engines, three transmissions and two transfer cases.

Chassis cab 3500, 4500 and 5500 vehicles boast 34 all-new product actions, 19 class-exclusive product actions and 13 class-exclusive safety actions, Ram said. Model-year 2019 configurations include four trims, two cab configurations, two engines, three transmissions and two transfer cases from which to choose.

New features for 2019 model-year heavy duty trucks and chassis cabs include selectable tire fill alert, trailer-tire pressure monitoring and auxiliary camera. For the 2020 model year, HD trucks are adding lane keep assist, trailer detection (added to blind spot monitor) and a 50-gallon fuel tank; and chassis cabs receive the lane keep and mud flaps. 

The 2019 model year ProMaster van includes a trailer hitch receiver with a 13,800-pound maximum gross combined weight rating, vehicle system interface module (VSIM) and max speed limiters. The 2020 ProMaster boasts standard and high roofs, and three models (1500, 2500, 3500) with multiple wheelbases ranging from an 8,550-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) to 9,350 GVWR.

The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Commercial Team, located within Ram’s engineering organization, provides support for upfitters, manufacturers and commercial customers, helping identify and resolve current product issues. The team also maintains Ram Commercial’s body builder’s guide website, and leads and supports industry events and training.

Model-year 2020 information now is available for van, light-duty and heavy-duty trucks and chassis cabs. Visit for more information.

A new section in the guide addresses controls and features for upfitters. A programming section covers auxiliary switches, PTO features and settings, idle control and front/rear Park Sense enable/disable; and a system functionality section covers hard-wired remote start/stop, e-stop and idle shutdown. 

Ram cautioned that PTO installation may result in engine control module (ECM) damage. The warning applies only to chassis cab trucks with PTOs installed, and then only PTO systems without flyback voltage protection. The PTO will work the first time, and then a light will flash thereafter, Ram said. The error disables PTO operation but does not affect any other vehicle functionality.

An interim field fix involves a user-installed diode. For a long-term fix, a dealer must install a jumper harness.

Chassis cabs feature a new rear axle with HD ratios 3.73 and 4.10, and chassis cab ratios 3.73, 4.10, 4.44 and 4.89. A front axle disconnect eliminates the need for manual locking hubs and improves fuel economy, Ram said. The new rear axle from American Axle allows new max two BIC capability but may require new or modified hardware for an aftermarket suspension.

Ram now supplies six battery/ignition-fed auxiliary switches as standard equipment on chassis cabs and optional equipment on heavy-duty trucks. The PTO option replaces the sixth auxiliary switch with a PTO switch. Connections are under the hood and wiring is included in an upfitter bag.

PTO improvements for 2019 include Last Known State latching feature, which allows the PTO to resume on engine start/stop, Mobile Mode—Idle Up in Park, which allows the PTO to maintain high idle when shifted to park, Park Brake Interlock and adjustable engine ramp rates.

VSIM modules now are standard on all chassis cab trucks and optional on HD trucks. The module was relocated for ease of access, and all wiring/connectors are included in the upfitter bag. VSIM improvements include door lock/unlock, emergency stop circuit, and an idle shutdown defeat circuit. 

For snow plow attachments, new features include a telltale icon in the cluster that shows when the snow plow light circuit is enabled, disabling of driver-assistance systems, and wiring that’s easier to locate and adapt.

Ram’s Quality Professional (Q-Pro) Program is a mark of excellence qualification program where capable upfitters collaborate directly with FCA to provide high-quality vehicle upfits for the commercial vehicle marketplace. The program focuses on adherence to regulatory compliance, robust quality management, strict process control, and strong warranty and continuous improvement guidelines. Look for more information in the body builder’s guide or email [email protected].